A PR professional is more or less always in motion, but the opportunity for that to extend beyond the boundaries of an office or cubicle can be priceless. Whether you are a PR novice cutting your teeth on the media frontlines or a seasoned executive who's worked alongside every client across every vertical, there's a valuable lesson to be learned from immersing oneself in a work environment that's miles or even worlds away from where you sit now.
Three key requisites for well-rounded PR professionals are a sense of adventure, a suitcase, and the ability to live by their wits – and the opportunity for travel and global assignments is one that should be capitalized on by any individual developing their skills for a global economy. As a human resources lead for a global public relations agency, I've witnessed a deep sense of wanderlust across employees that compliments their ambition to experience life in a variety of countries and cultures. Those who have taken advantage of a short- or long-term assignment outside the US have emerged as more intuitive, collaborative, and inventive for having done so, with a deeper perspective and appreciation for cultural nuances that can be invaluable to themselves, colleagues, and clients.
Presently we have a manager on a two-month assignment in London, pitching in to bring a new fresh perspective to a global client account. When she returns to the US, she'll bring a wealth of knowledge back to her teammates and clients – and will have strengthened the bond of a dispersed global team. A new director just returned from a two-week assignment in Singapore with a stronger appreciation for the challenges hyper-growth countries in emerging markets present to colleagues and clients alike.
Leaders are valued for bringing the “big picture” perspective to their work. Employees who take advantage of global transfer programs will generally fast track their skills in problem solving, global collaboration, and client consultancy. Global enrichment programs are an effective way to ensure any agency continues to innovate its approach toward both employee growth and client relations.
Shari Roberts is SVP of human resources, North America, at Text 100 Global Public Relations